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The Detective Genre. A comparison of characters, setting and atmosphere, and the endings in the two short stories, "The Speckled Band" by A Conan Doyal (Pre 1900) and "Lamb To The Slaughter" by R Dhal (Post 1900).

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Introduction

Name: Taranvir Rehal 28th January 2002 W.J.E.C English Literature Assignment: The Detective Genre. A comparison of characters, setting and atmosphere, and the endings in the two short stories, "The Speckled Band" by A Conan Doyal (Pre 1900) and "Lamb To The Slaughter" by R Dhal (Post 1900) "The Speckled Band" was written by A Conan Doyal in the 19th Century and "Lamb To The Slaughter" was written by R Dhal in the 20th century. They are both detective stories but are quite different in their style. "The Speckled Band" is very traditional in its approach and as one would expect, "Lamb To The Slaughter" being a modern story explores the genre in a different way. I shall be studying the differences between the two stories in relation to the portrayal of characters, the setting and atmosphere and the difference in the way the two stories end. The villains in the two stories are quite different. In "The Speckled Band" the villain is Doctor Grimesby Roylott. The things that make Dr Grimesby Roylott a typical villain in the Detective genre is his physical appearance that is described to us in the story. He is described as being tall, broad and he has a lot of wrinkles on his face. "A large face, scared with a thousand wrinkles" This shows he ha a lot of wrinkles which cut into his face. He also has evil looking eyes. He has "Bile shot eyes" This means that his eyes are a disgusting pale green colour. ...read more.

Middle

Helen Stoner is a typical victim because she is weak. But, the victim is quite different in "Lamb To The Slaughter" The victim Patrick Maloney was a tall police man. We know that he is tall because he took long strides when he walked. He is short tempered. He has a lack of respect for his wife and he becomes a victim because he is a villainous because Mary thought Patrick loved her but he didn't, and when he told her that he was leaving he was being evil and she snapped and acted out of shock and that's why he became a victim. Patrick Maloney cares more about his job than his wife's feelings because when he tells her his feelings he says; "But there needn't really be any fuss. I hope not anyway. It wouldn't be very good for my job." Patrick Maloney is an untypical victim. Patrick pushed his wife to kill him if you think about it. After telling the bad news he said; "'For God sake', he said, hearing her, but not turning around. 'Don't make supper for me. I'm going out" Out of these stories I think Sherlock Holmes in "The Speckled Band" was the better detective than the policemen in "Lamb To The Slaughter" because Sherlock Holmes got to the bottom of the case and solved the crime. The villain was punished and in the other story things were different. Sherlock Holmes is a typical detective. ...read more.

Conclusion

and to bite the person in the bed. Dr Roylott knew this plan would work because he screwed the bed to the floor so nobody could move the bed. Then once the snake had bit the person in the bed, it would go back up the bell pull, through the ventilator and back to Dr Roylott. He would give the snake some milk as a reward and then he would put the snake back into the safe. They found out that Dr Roylott planned the murder. The reason why the story ended like this because in the time the story was written detective/murder stories had to have a definite ending otherwise there would have been an out cry. In the ending of "Lamb To The Slaughter" Mary kills her husband and gets away with it. The police ate the evidence. Mary Maloney deliberately makes the policemen eat the evidence. The crime wasn't solved. The story ended by Mary Maloney getting away with the murder and no body know how it happened or who killed Patrick. This has a comic and funny ending. The reason why this was ended the way it did is because it didn't have to have a definite ending it is a humorous ending. Even though these two stories are in the sane genre they are very different. I preferred reading "Lamb To The Slaughter" because it is different, funny and it kind of shows that being a woman isn't just about looking pretty and there's nothing like a woman's revenge. I thought "The Speckled Band" was uninteresting and a bit too long. 1 ...read more.

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